Sin City is home to a lot of restaurants and bars, but there are tons of hidden gems that the majority of Las Vegans aren’t unearthing. To help guide readers to these potential discoveries, Eater Vegas enlisted some of the city’s food players to share their recommendations for a feature dubbed Dining Confidential.
Las Vegas-raised and Bulgarian-born Nina Manchev opened Forte Tapas at age 22 with a dream of preserving old traditions and recipes and bringing her culture and cuisine to a new audience. Nine years later, Forte and Nina have not only made a name for herself in her restaurant but in the community as well. Here she shares some of her favorite places to dine in Las Vegas.
Do you remember your first trip to Vegas? What happened that was memorable?
I was so young when we moved here, but I have a lot of great memories. I loved going to the different hotels and restaurants, seeing the tigers and being obsessed with the MGM theme park. Of course, the original Wet ‘n Wild will always have a special place in my heart.
What made you decide to move to Las Vegas?
I love this city so much and always have. I knew I wanted to stay here and make an impact in the community. It’s a very gratifying and exciting idea to be able to serve so many people from all around the world in a concentrated environment.
Where do you like to eat breakfast in Las Vegas?
I’m not a big breakfast person. I usually just like to have a strong cup of coffee, but one of my favorite places to have it is Gabi Coffee & Bakery. The coffee and snacks are great, and the space is beautiful
What about lunch?
Two of my favorite places are Rosalie and Vesta Coffee Roasters. I’m a sucker for croissant sandwiches, and they both have great options.
If you’re going out for dinner, which restaurants do you like to frequent?
I love frequenting restaurants where I have gotten to know the people who created them. To me, these restaurants are more welcoming, and I know more of the story behind the dishes, which makes a difference. A few of my go-tos are: Sparrow & Wolf — I love how creative and comforting the space and the menu are. The beef cheek and bone marrow dumplings are delicious.
Other Mama — The restaurant is so nice and welcoming, and every dish is just so fresh. The poke never fails me.
District One Kitchen & Bar — When I’m craving Asian food, District One always hits the spot. One of my favorites is the oxtail fried rice.
Flock & Fowl — This is all about simple food always well executed, and you can never go wrong with the classic Flock & Fowl Hainan chicken.
Where do you like to dine for a special occasion?
For the most part, I really enjoy dining off strip, but for special occasions, I love making my way to Las Vegas Boulevard to dine at Carbone and Joël Robuchon. These are iconic restaurants, and I feel really lucky that they are here for us to enjoy.
Are there any brunches in town you like to frequent?
I always enjoy a great brunch at DW Bistro. Bryce is one of my favorite humans!
Let’s say you want to hang out with your friends after work. Where do you like to go?
Herbs & Rye is my go to for after-work hangs. It’s dark and moody, and the cocktails always hit the spot.
• All Coverage of Forte Tapas [ELV]
• All Dining Confidentials [ELV]